Making 2019 Your Best Year Yet: Living a Whole & Complete Life
What comes to mind when you hear, “living a whole and complete life?” Sounds pretty enticing, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t it be great if, at the end of your life, you could look back at a life lived fully, rich with love for family and friends, having had incredibly good health, a very meaningful career, and plenty of fun and adventure? Take a moment to really think about what that would feel like.
Alternatively, what feelings come to mind if you reach the end of your life and it’s filled with regret? You wish you had made important life changes when you had the opportunity. Maybe you are like many who give nearly 100% of your time and effort to your career leaving little to no time for anything else. What if you lose your job through a layoff or retirement? What’s left? There is nowhere to turn, nothing to fall back on. There is no support system. Your physical and mental health can be seriously compromised. Or, perhaps your entire life is wrapped up with your children and now your children leave for college, get married or move out of the house. What’s left? You’ve lost your identity, your purpose, your happiness.
So, let me ask, “Are you making time for all the important areas of your life? If not, it may be time to make some changes while you have the opportunity. You may have said things were going to be different this year. You had the best intentions – work a little less, spend more time with family and friends, eat better, exercise more, or maybe pursue additional education to advance or transition your career. But nothing changed. Was this simply a wish or did you actually have a solid plan for the most important areas of your life, goals that were aligned with your life purpose and core values? To live a whole and complete life, we need to dedicate time and effort to all the things that are most important to us.
To bring clarity to what’s missing in your life, consider completing the following exercise:
With the center of the wheel as 0 and the outer edge as an ideal 10, rank your level of satisfaction with each life area. Customize this wheel to suit your needs. You may want to separate family and friends or change the categories to better reflect the important areas of your life. Draw a straight or curved line to create a new outer edge, as in the second example below. The new perimeter of the circle represents your Wheel of Life. How bumpy would the ride be if this were a real wheel? Is your life out of balance?
Take a look at the areas where you want to improve. Select one to two areas that you want to focus on in 2019. A place to start maybe categories where you scored the lowest. You may want to choose an area that, with dedicated time and effort, would add the most meaning or value to your life. Sometimes making an improvement in one area of your life has a positive effect on all the others. One category I created for myself is health and wellness, body, mind and soul. Every year I have a goal in this category, and it always results in a dramatically positive impact on all the other areas of my life.
After selecting your one to two focus areas, think about how you are going to make these changes. Usually, we get hung up on not enough time. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. To add something new, we need to let something else go. What could that look like? Other than time, consider what other factors might get in the way of your success. Then, take pen to paper and let your thoughts flow. Let yourself be totally inspired as you think about what life will look like when you make these changes one year from now. It’s also important to think about what might get in the way of your success, the obstacles and/or limiting beliefs that may have been problematic for you in the past. Write until there is nothing more to say.
You’ve heard the saying, “if we fail to plan, plan to fail.” If we simply go through the motions of life without any planning, we may have regrets at the end of our lives wishing we had done something different when we had the opportunity. You have the opportunity now to create a rich, fulfilling and complete life. Step one of our 4-step journey had you building a solid foundation, discovering your life purpose and identifying your core values in preparation for the goal setting process. Step two has you looking at where your current focus is, time and effort, and determining if it is in alignment with what is most important to you. Having a good understanding of the gap between where you are and where you want to be, one year from now, will be essential as we move to step three, Goal Setting, next week. Smile, you are moving closer to your 2019 New Year’s Eve celebration and toast . . . Cheers!
Join me next week as we discuss how to put your inspiring thoughts and ideas into an actionable plan for your life. We will also address the obstacles that might get in your way and how to overcome them. Stay tuned for step three of our 4-step journey, Goal Setting.